The Confederate Widow's Shortbread

READY IN: 30mins
Recipe by emmalee1942

"The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All" is an unlikely place to find a shortbread recipe. I have adapted the recipe which is found in the novel written by Allen Gurganus, 1984, page 761 (paperback version). Alfred a Knopf Inc., publisher. You can use all flour instead of the flour and cornstarch. Using the combined flour and cornstarch gives shortbread a melt-in-the mouth buttery goodness,

Top Review by Jociecee

This shortbread did melt in my mouth, but found it to be a little too crumbly. Very buttery and rich, but it could benefit from a tad bit more flour and sugar. The directions did not note whether the butter should be cold or softened. I have made different shortbread cookies, and some call for softened butter, while others call for cold butter cut into the flour, and depending on the butter, the texture of the cookie will be different. These were pretty good but if I make them again, I will add a little more sugar, perhaps ¼ cup of regular sugar and about the same amount of extra flour. I made these for Spring PAC 2010. Thanks emmalee!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Sift the flour, cornstarch, powdered sugar and salt.
  2. Blend in the butter, to form a smooth mixture, stir in the vanilla.
  3. Divide the dough into 2 portions, roll, or pat, each portion into a 1/2" thick round.
  4. Outline six wedges into each round, with the tines of a fork.
  5. Place on a buttered, or parchment lined, cookie sheet.
  6. Bake 325 degrees, 20-25 minutes.
  7. Cool on wire racks.
  8. "Decorate tops with almonds, bits of cherries, angelica or citron", if desired. (I never do.).
  9. When cool, separate along the fork-outlined wedge lines.
  10. Store in an airtight container,.

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